SINGAPORE – Princess Cruises, a leading cruise line brand under Carnival Corporation & Plc, the world’s largest cruise company launched its first homeporting season in Singapore today. The Sapphire Princess will set sail this evening from the Marina Bay Cruise Centre with a full capacity for an 11-day roundtrip voyage around Southeast Asia, calling at Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand before returning to Singapore.
Princess Cruises’ Inaugural Homeporting Season in Southeast Asia
The largest deployment ever by a premium cruise line in Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises’ homeporting season will call at nine countries and 21 ports over a wide range of cruise lengths ranging from three to 16 days. Princess Cruises has created a travel program featuring a total of 25 itineraries across 16 roundtrip departures, offering more destinations from Singapore than on any other cruise line. This program has been designed specifically for the diverse travel market in Southeast Asia and to provide passengers with an extensive variety of vacation experiences.
The local economic impact from the Singapore-based deployment is estimated to be nearly SGD$50 million. This includes passenger and crew spending in each port, travel agent commissions and marketing costs.
“We are thrilled to launch our inaugural homeporting season in Southeast Asia, bringing a new premium cruise travel experience to both local and international guests.” said Farriek Tawfik, Director of Southeast Asia, Princess Cruises. “Approximately 40,000 guests are expected to be carried during this first season of cruising from Singapore. With our diverse ports of call and itineraries, Princess Cruises will offer them a unique and unparalleled vacation experience.”
Extension of Second Homeporting Season in Southeast Asia
Based on the overwhelming response from the regional and international cruise market to its inaugural homeporting season, Princess Cruises will launch its second homeporting season in Singapore next year.
Collaborating closely with key stakeholders such as travel agencies, tourism authorities, and cruise associations, Princess Cruises aims to expand the regional cruise market and boost tourism in Southeast Asia by drawing 40,000 travelers from Asia and around the world.
Singapore is a key hub for cruise activity in the region due to its strategic location in Southeast Asia, strong infrastructure and government support. In 2013, almost 21 million passengers are reported to have cruised from Singapore, up 13 percent from 2012. Cruise passenger traffic at Marina Bay Cruise Centre doubled to 416,000 between April 2013 and March this year, handling close to 110 ship calls. The cruise center recently completed facility enhancements to improve passenger experience at the terminal such as a wider arrival lobby area, a new passenger bridge and more check-in counters.
Princess Cruises 50th Anniversary and Singapore’s 50th Birthday
The second homeporting season in Singapore will also coincide with Princess Cruises’ 50th Anniversary celebrations and Singapore’s 50th birthday next year in 2015. Princess Cruises guests will be able to enjoy fleet-wide festivities on board which include a commemorative food menu, celebratory keepsakes and an exclusive 50th Anniversary micro-brewed beer.
Princess Cruises will also be offering ‘Chocolate Journeys’, a new onboard chocolate experience. Guests on board Sapphire Princess will enjoy an array of chocolate offerings including custom-crafted desserts, chocolate and wine pairings created by internationally-acclaimed master chocolatier and pastry designer Norman Love.
“Singapore is a key hub for cruise activity and an important market and base for our operations. We are delighted to be able to celebrate two significant milestones – Princess Cruises’ 50th anniversary and Singapore’s 50th birthday at the same time on the Sapphire Princess when it homeports in Singapore again next year”, said Tawfik.
Sapphire Princess Onboard Experience
The cruise experience onboard Sapphire Princess will be substantially the same as the Princess Cruises product offered around the world, providing an array of dining and entertainment options in addition to the line’s signature innovations such as its popular Movies Under the Stars poolside theater and The Sanctuary, an exclusive top-deck retreat.
Princess Cruises will be catering to the local consumers with customized offerings such as multi-lingual crew members in key guest-facing positions. Dining room menus will include additional offerings that cater to local tastes. Specially designed enrichment programs will be featured and other amenities such as the shopping selection and spa treatments will also be tailored to local preferences.
The 116,000-ton Sapphire Princess carries 2,670 passengers and features a high number of staterooms with private balconies, Lotus Spa, steakhouse, wine bar, patisserie, pizzeria, boutiques, and Internet café among other amenities.